"Though you build high like the eagle, Though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down," declares the LORD.Obadiah 1:4(NASB)
The shortest book in the Bible, Obadiah, delivered a prophecy of destruction against Edom and the Edomites who were the direct descendants of Esau. He was the rebellious twin brother of Jacob, who despised his birth-right and sold it for a measly mess of pottage.
Obadiah means 'servant of Yahweh' and his name is the singular, identifying mark of this man, for his lineage was not disclosed in Scripture and there is no significant information recorded about him, except that he was a "servant of the living God," and prophesied of the downfall of Edom.
Obadiah prophesied against the Edomites who were the direct descendants of Esau. From the time when Esau and Jacob jostled each other in the womb of their mother and throughout the long and involved history of Israel, Edom showed contempt for their closest relative and engaged in wars and battles against God's chosen people.
As a young man, Esau swore to murder his twin brother, and Edom's ongoing hostility towards Israel is recorded in many places. Esau intermarried with pagan Canaanite women, refused God's people a safe passage across his land during their wilderness wanderings, and rejoiced greatly when Jerusalem fell in the Babylonian invasion.
Many prophets foretold of Edom's coming destruction. Jeremiah prophesied that their land would become desolate, while Malachi pronounced God's perpetual enmity against the nation. Ezekiel identified their vengeful hostility against Israel and warned that God Himself would avenge His people and make their land a sterile wasteland.
Obadiah warned that Edom's dignity would be brought crashing down, their prideful arrogance would be smashed to pieces, and they would become utterly insignificant among the nations because of the evil violence they had done toward Israel. He pronounced God's judgement on the nation by prophesying their fall: "Though you build high like the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars - I will bring you down from your lofty height," declares the LORD.
One of Edom's significant achievements was the construction of their chief city - 'Sela' or 'Petra' - which was considered to be impregnable. It was carved into the rosy-hued stone of the immense cliff-face, but Obadiah foretold of its destruction by proclaiming that God Himself would bring the proud nation, its vindictive people, and its impenetrable city down from their lofty heights.
Throughout the Word of God, we see examples of the proud who build their nests in high and lofty places being brought low - and the voice of the arrogant being silenced. We praise God that His eye is not blind to their evil and His ear is not closed to our cries for help. May we trust Him in all things and endeavour to do justly, to love kindness, to show mercy, and to walk humbly before God, for His praise and glory.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the prophecy of Obadiah which helps me to reflect on the dangers of pride, arrogance, vengefulness, and a bitter heart of unforgiveness. May I never forget that a haughty soul will be brought crashing down from its lofty heights, in God's time and in His way. In the same way, those with a humble of heart will be lifted up. Help me to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before You, all the days of my life, for Your greater praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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